Sunday, June 29, 2008

Using the social sites in business.

A CNN Money article titled "Business people find ways to save time and make money from social software pioneered by their kids.” provides further proof that web based job searches are still tech-centric. I tried to include the link, but once again the HTML that worked yesterday doesn't work today!

Job boards started with the tech world and tech jobs still lead the way for finding jobs and workers on website job boards. Far more programmers are placed through online boards than accountants. Will that change? Of course it will, just as e-mail is now a common business tool, so will the use of online services to find employees and jobs.

A lot will change in both how we list ourselves on line and how companies list openings before it becomes common in none tech industries, but it will get there eventually. Everything I’ve read talks about college students using the web but that misses a big part of the story. High schools are teaching computer use and a huge number of students that will not go one to college are just as computer savvy as the college grads. They use text messaging, they use Facebook, My Space and all the rest just as much as those college students and will expect to find a job using the same methods.

If your company is limiting it’s tech driven job search methods to the job classifications that demand a college education, your missing some great employees who will be trying to use the these methods to find your jobs that don’t require a college degree!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

An open letter to both presidential candidates

The problems we face are not that complex nor are the solutions. Perhaps the implementation will be complex, but the concepts are quite simple.

It has been said that nothing happens until a sale is made, no raw materials are bought, no workers employed and no products produced until a sale is made.

And while thats true, it is incomplete. Nothing happens until someone buys something. Stated that way it makes your job much simpler - you, and all the other politicians must create and sustain an environment where I can buy things. I can only buy things if I have money and that means jobs. If jobs are running out of the country, you have to crate laws to make it cost effective for business to keep those jobs here. Incentives or disincentives is your job to decide but without jobs, people can’t by things and that’s bad for business.

Inflation is no big secret either, it’s simply when prices go up faster than salaries because of none-value-added costs. If that doesn’t match what you learned in school, remember that the labels you learned in school are some “great” thinker’s theory of how they believe things work, while my definition is based on the results of following those theories. No matter what your initial goals were or what your theory is, the results are what count!

The idea of buying a product today that will be produced tomorrow has value but when speculators take advantage of the process to make huge unearned profits, it unbalances the system. When speculators drive prices up much faster than salaries (think today's oil prices), I can’t buy and if I can’t buy, business can’t sell and that kills the whole economy.

Yes, the economy will self correct, but the time an unmanaged economy takes to self correct causes a huge dislocation in day-to-day living. So we expect the government to help. Just as building a physical dam keeps the river from flooding, economic dams (regulations) keep the economy from flooding.

If your doubt my theory, remember this part of Adam Smith's economic theory: "Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production; and the interest of the producer ought to be attended to, only so far as it may be necessary for promoting that of the consumer."

Henry Ford is quoted as saying that the customer pays the wages, the factory owner only handles the money. In the same way the companies that pay the lobbyists only handle the money - it's true source is the people who by things. And one last time, no job no buying things.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Smart moves?

Watching the Military channel on cable TV an episode covered the Swedish aircraft industry. In talking about Saab they described the founding of the Saab Automobile company as a effort of the aircraft company to keep from laying off skilled workers and to keep the industrial base.

Now if the Swedes could understand the value of keeping skilled workers productive and their skills current and in keeping their industrial base current clear back in 1946, how come the US has forgotten these lessons?

Back in the day when I worked in electronics, we found a lot of product improvements and new products from building and repairing existing products. Without the input from the production floor, we would have missed significant improvements to our equipment.

Now, please explain to me why you would let go of the critical skills your business needs and eliminate one of the best learning laboratories your company has?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I just read a blog where the writer was talking about working hard but not on high priority items and it caused me to think - does low priority stuff need get done at all?

Well, of course it does. That’s why it on your list in the first place! If it didn’t need to get done, you wouldn’t put it on you “to do” list and assign it a priority.

Your high priority for today may be making the next sale or delivering the next order, but at some point you really do need to file those filled orders from last week and bill for the work you just finished. When we push stuff to a lower priority there is the natural human tendency to think its less important when the truth is its only less important AT THIS MOMENT. In far too many cases it's priority get higher the longer you put it off.

If you are constantly putting of stuff as “lower priority” you better make sure that some where, some how it gets done. Housekeeping tasks seem less important than the next sale or delivery, but how long can you function if with three feet of unfiled paperwork on your desk?